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January 2021 Surgery Group

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kimberly1981
kimberly1981 Member Posts: 30

Hi All - I didn't see a January 2021 Surgery group thread yet and thought I'd get it started.

I finished up 6 rounds of TCHP on December 10th (YAY!!!!) and will be having a BMX with immediate reconstruction with under muscle implants sometime in mid-January. I'm hoping to have my exact date soon but scheduling has been tricky because of COVID (Southern CA hospitals are currently overwhelmed). Also waiting to find out if I'll be able to have both sides done at the same time or will have to only have the side with cancer done now and come back in 4-6 months to do the other - again because of COVID. It's unlikely there will be room at the hospital for me so the surgeons are comfortable doing one side as outpatient but not both. I'm going from FFs to Bs so not looking forward to being severely lopsided for several months but 2020 insists on being the year that keeps on giving!

Anyone else with a January surgery date? Has COVID also impacted your surgery or treatment plan?


January 2021 Surgeries:

January 6:
Susiemommy - Lumpectomy + Reduction/Lift + SLNB
ClearCreek1 - BMX
January 7:
K9JakeK9Miro
AndiMango
January 8:
AB45 - Lumpectomy + SLNB
January 11:
NotAsCalmAsILook - UMX + Node Removal
January 12:
Alcie1
January 14:
KMouse - ALND
indahood - BMX + Reconstruction (DIEP)
January 15:
Flowergirl24 - BMX + Reconstruction (DIEP)
KLMN - BMX + Reconstruction
DeniseML - UMX + ALND
January 18:
Bkbkg - BMX + Reconstruction
KnitNerd - Lumpectomy + Reduction (BMX later)
January 19:
MEM127 - Lumpectomy R + Surgical Excision L + SLNB
KBax8 - BMX
January 21:
kimberly1981 - BMX + Reconstruction (direct to implants) + SLNB
Jasmin2020 - BMX + Reconstruction (TE)
January 25:
GreenOutdoors - BMX + Reconstruction (TE)
AnnSOptera - BMX + Flat closure
February 1:
Danavice - BMX + Aesthetic Closure + SLNBx2

«1345

Comments

  • ab45
    ab45 Member Posts: 153
    edited December 2020
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    Good Evening

    I have a lumpectomy and sentiel node biopsy ( I am sure I have slaughtered the spelling on that) Surgery is scheduled for Jan 8, 2020. Quite nervous about the COVID regulations, pain, after care, and the procedure. Then the waiting a week for pathology results after surgery. I hate to even talk about my anxiety because your procedure sounds more intense. Stay strong!!! I think for my area, Covid will affect treatment as well

  • kimberly1981
    kimberly1981 Member Posts: 30
    edited December 2020
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    AB45 - I feel like the anticipation and unknown is always worse the actual procedure. Positive thoughts for a smooth procedure and speedy recovery!

  • ab45
    ab45 Member Posts: 153
    edited December 2020
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    Hi

    Just wanted to check on to see how things are going and if you had a surgery date?

    Best Wishes

  • K9JakeK9Miro2020
    K9JakeK9Miro2020 Member Posts: 1
    edited December 2020
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    Hi,

    I was diagnosed with breast cancer on Dec 1 and my surgery is on Jan 7th. It has been literally a living hell for me and my family as we wait for this date. I have to get a port inserted but don't know how much chemo I will need or for how long. I don't know what I'm going to be left with when I come out of surgery. I don't know how to deal with myself right now. It's miserable.

  • Bkbkg
    Bkbkg Member Posts: 2
    edited December 2020
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    my DMX with reconstructionis currently scheduled for Jan 18, but I am still waiting for my her-2 results to find out if additional treatment is needed. Should know by the end of this week. Waiting has been so hard, but yet this is all happening so fast! Diagnosed Dec 18 and met with surgeon Dec 22.

  • kimberly1981
    kimberly1981 Member Posts: 30
    edited December 2020
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    AB45 - My surgery has been scheduled for Jan 21. I'm glad to have a date but trying not to freak out that it's a full 6 weeks after my last chemo. I just don't want the cancer to have a chance to grow and start spreading again.

    K9JakeK9Miro - The waiting is the very worst part of all of this - the unknown can make your mind go to terrible places. There's no good advice about how to make it better other than try to occupy your mind with something else (so much easier said than done!). I did find it got better once treatment started because it no longer felt like the cancer was just running unchecked in my body - hopefully you feel the same after the surgery. I'm sorry you don't know what is going to happen for chemo yet, but the port does make it much easier if you're going to have to do it more than a few times.

    Bkbkg - I'm so sorry you're going through this, but glad you have a surgery date. Do you know what the treatment plans will be for the different HER2 outcomes?


    I think there's enough of us now to add a list of surgeries to the main thread. I'm guessing this is a club none of us want to belong to, but glad to have others going through it with me. Positive thoughts to all for smooth surgeries with no complications and quick recoveries.

  • KMouse
    KMouse Member Posts: 4
    edited December 2020
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    I had my bilateral Mastectomy 12/18/20 - no reconstruction. So far, so good. The reason I'm posting here is the results of my sentinel Node biopsy. All 4 removed nodes tested positive for cancer, only one with a "low" amount. SO - they want to do a full axillary dissection 1/14 and port insertion. Wheeeee....... (not really, sigh). After they finish testing those nodes, they will use that info to determine how aggressive chemo / radiation will be. . . On the plus side, a LOT of cancer has been removed. I have (had?) the lobular kind which can be deceiving in size. Two masses (5mm & 1mm) & (some) node cancer out. Now to find out how much more....

  • kimberly1981
    kimberly1981 Member Posts: 30
    edited December 2020
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    KMouse - So glad they got most of it out, but it stinks that the pathology means more surgery and a more aggressive treatment plan. I'll add you to the list for your ALND.

  • Susiemommy
    Susiemommy Member Posts: 46
    edited December 2020
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    Hi everyone. I finished chemo (AC and Taxol) November 25 and am scheduled for a lumpectomy with a reduction/lift and a sentinel node biopsy January 6th. Currently freaking out about all of it. I dislike the big gap of time between the end of chemo and beginning of surgery. I can't seem to get answers to several questions from any of my doctors. I'm uncertain about the decision to have breast-conserving surgery instead of a bilateral mastectomy. My tumor is now painful, and my mind is in overdrive imagining what is going on in there to cause that. This is a weird time for all of us.

  • kimberly1981
    kimberly1981 Member Posts: 30
    edited December 2020
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    Susiemommy - We have the same length between our last chemo and surgery so I completely understand your anxiety as I'm feeling it too. I found a paper that showed up to 8 weeks post had similar outcomes with the only difference being 6+ weeks had lower % of PCR. My oncologist said it's unlikely to start regrowing in that span of time - if that makes you feel any better...

    Any ideas from your doctors about why the tumor might be painful now? Was it painful before/during chemo?

  • Susiemommy
    Susiemommy Member Posts: 46
    edited December 2020
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    Well, Kimberly1981, at least what your oncologist said makes me feel a bit better. The pain thing is kind of new, I don't think I've mentioned it to my doctors. So, I see radiation listed on your treatment - have you already done that? If I stick with lumpectomy, that's a given for me. But, it's only a possibility if I were to choose a mastectomy.

  • kimberly1981
    kimberly1981 Member Posts: 30
    edited December 2020
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    Susiemommy - Unfortunately, radiation is a given for me no matter the surgery - triple positive + 2 tumors + lymph node involvement + my age means radiation. All that also means mastectomy so I was glad I didn't have to make the choice. It seems like there are so many choices we have to make between bad and worse things and it all feels like taking a shot in the dark.

    I will have 5 week of radiation after I heal from surgery - so likely sometime in March. I've signed up for a clinical trial to study the long term safety of photon v proton radiation - not sure which group I'll be put in and whether it will make any difference, but felt the need to do something helpful for future patients.

  • Susiemommy
    Susiemommy Member Posts: 46
    edited December 2020
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    So, kimberly1981, will you have your implants already in when you do radiation? One of the questions I have right now is whether the lumpectomy with rads now might make things more complicated later if I need to have a mastectomy. I've read that implants and an irradiated breast do not play nicely together. I'm sure there are workarounds as it seems like that's precisely the combo you have.

  • kimberly1981
    kimberly1981 Member Posts: 30
    edited December 2020
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    Susiemommy - Yes, I think there can be complications with implants and radiation and I will have mine in before radiation. I wanted to limit the number of surgeries I'm having as much as possible and really wanted to avoid tissue expanders. I don't think everyone is a candidate for straight to implants, but because I'm going from very large to small (FF to B) and having the implant under the muscle, my plastic surgeon and radiologist both said it is not a problem and I shouldn't need to replace the implants. Of course, any number of things could go wrong but I'm happy with the plan and just hopeful I'll be one and done.

    I know the skin often changes (tighter, less elastic, thinner?) and makes reconstruction tricky for some. I think if you go from lumpectomy to mastectomy post radiation it's likely to change how they do the reconstruction and what options you have but I don't think it takes anything off the table completely. There's all kinds of amazing options these days - I seriously considered DIEP (basically tummy tuck they turn into new natural breasts) but didn't want to add another surgical site to the mix.

    How are you feeling a week out from surgery? Is COVID a concern in your area?

  • ClearCreek1
    ClearCreek1 Member Posts: 3
    edited January 2021
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    Surgery date next Wed. Can you say freaking out. Am working today to try to keep my mind off stuff. I am having a bilateral. One of the things I have found in the process is there can be too much information overload. I am guilty of being an info junkie. I watched YouTube videos prior to my biopsy but drew the line at watching a mastectomy video. I figured since I was awake during the biopsy it helped to know what to anticipate and it did but nah on the mastectomy. Put me out for a couple days preferably. COVID - has not impacted my surgery date, just the caregiver support. Fortunately my husband will get to stay with me the whole time (for the most part). We are in the part of the country that has exploding COVID cases but folks are resistant to masks. Really worried about my husband even being at the hospital but too chicken to try to make him stay home.

    The decision for bilateral the hardest decision of my life. There are just no easy answers. Recommendations from doctors are good but ultimately it was my decision based on many many factors. I am Stage 0, grade 3 DCIS in situ (can't help but suspect more). I managed to pin my doctor down on what he thought of BC being invasive and he estimated 25% but was quick to say 75% maybe not. It may seem negative to look at it that way rather than thinking the DCIS all in situ. I think if I did not know there was a chance of it being more I would be more upset if I learned it was worse than thought after surgery. At least this way I know what needs to happen if the diagnosis is worse. If better than that is a perk for me.

    I talked to many people; some with BC and some with experience with the subject (mammography buddy). While their input helped it also muddied the thinking in other ways. Ultimately the decision for me did not stem from the thought about survivability, recurrence, or even aesthetics. I live with another chronic health condition for which I monitor as well as I can. Have lived with it for 35 years but there is always the chance it will become cancer (Ulcerative colitis). I have had ups and downs and been on many different medications for this condition. Currently not on any medication but I exercise, watch my diet, etc. etc. All those things you should do anyway. I asked my doctor if the bilateral would take the need for hormone treatment off the table. Yes, (maybe but big IF!) only if not invasive and something that we will have to work through if that should be the case. I could not deal with the thought of managing bad side affects of hormone treatment - could not be any but not my experience with any medication for the UC. My mental health is more important than my physical health was the deciding factor and my long term health is more important than the terror and down time for the bilateral. Thanks to all on this board for the advise on how to prepare, questions to ask of doctors, and especially the support. Will update after surgery but off the board for a while to give myself a little mental break....sure right.

  • Flowergirl24
    Flowergirl24 Member Posts: 1
    edited January 2021
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    Hello. I was diagnosed with DCIS in October and I am having a DMX with immediate DIEP on 1/15/21.

  • kimberly1981
    kimberly1981 Member Posts: 30
    edited January 2021
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    ClearCreek1 and Flowergirl24 - Welcome to the group (though very sorry you have to be here)! I've added your surgeries to the list.

  • KLMN
    KLMN Member Posts: 9
    edited January 2021
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    Hello everyone -

    I was diagnosed 10/1 and am scheduled for bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction on 1/15 too. I have DCIS stage 0, grade 1/2. After a lumpectomy and 2 more re excisions where they just kept finding more DCIS I decided BMX would be best There is just no way to know how much lore there is...

    I cannot believe how many of us are going through this but I am grateful for the medical progress that has been made over the past 20 years.

    One thing that has me a little nervous is that they are not keeping me in the hospital overnight after BMX surgery due to COVID. Sounds like they have been sending people home for the last nine months and have not had any readmittance. I guess the bright side is that I can be in my own bed, just makes me nervous if there are any complications. Anyone have similar experience?

    Thinking of all of you who are going through this journey.

  • Susiemommy
    Susiemommy Member Posts: 46
    edited January 2021
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    kimberly1981, Covid is horrible here as I guess it is everywhere. No one has been allowed to go to any appointments with me, and I suppose my husband will just drop me off at the hospital the morning of surgery and pick me up after as he is not allowed - even in recovery. I don't know if it has affected scheduling, but I do know that my oncologist had it, and it likely was at least distracting for her.

    I'm getting a bit anxious. Every day I second guess my decision. I think if I could start all over, I would choose your surgical path - just to get it all over with.

  • Susiemommy
    Susiemommy Member Posts: 46
    edited January 2021
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    Lumpectomy ladies, are any of you Her2 negative? And/or, did any of you not have complete pathological response from chemo (if you had neoadjuvant)? Just looking for similar experiences...

  • kimberly1981
    kimberly1981 Member Posts: 30
    edited January 2021
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    KLMN - I've been stalking the boards for the surgery groups from the past several months and they're full of people who've had BMX as outpatient procedures. That seems insane to me, but I think I'd prefer it to having to come back in 6-12 months for another surgery to do the other side. It would be much nicer to be in your own bed and not waking up every 10 minutes to the sounds of beeping but the fear of something bad happening and not having medical personnel nearby is real. I'm currently scheduled for both sides but whether they do it will depend on how full the hospital is by the 21st.

    Susiemommy - Same here - COVID means all appointments/procedures/surgeries are solo. My husband will drop me off for my BMX and someone will call him to tell him how it went and when to pick me up. As for your lumpectomy, I'm sure you can opt for a mastectomy later on. And this way, you're getting the cancer out now, finding out what the pathology looks like, and if it's clear and good and you feel comfortable with the lumpectomy you're done! And if not or there's still a nagging feeling about it, schedule a mastectomy. You can always do more, but you can't undo cutting it all off.

  • Susiemommy
    Susiemommy Member Posts: 46
    edited January 2021
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    kimberly1981, thank you. That is exactly what I need to hear! Good luck to you on the 21st! These last few days before have been the worst for me as far as anxiety. Might have to break out the xanax!

  • kimberly1981
    kimberly1981 Member Posts: 30
    edited January 2021
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    Best of luck, Susiemommy, we'll be thinking of you on Wednesday!

  • KnitNerd
    KnitNerd Member Posts: 19
    edited January 2021
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    Hi! This is my first post here. Diagnosed in November with DCIS. I'm having surgery on Jan. 18 -- lumpectomy and reduction. Then a BMX in a few months. I've put together a list of things to buy to prepare but is there something that you used that I may not have thought of? Good luck to all of you!

  • AndiMango
    AndiMango Member Posts: 1
    edited January 2021
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    Scheduled for January 7. So glad I found this group. Nervous, unsure, scared - it's all there! Thanks to those who share their experience, and prayers for all of us who are just beginning! #itwillbeOK

  • kimberly1981
    kimberly1981 Member Posts: 30
    edited January 2021
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    KnitNerd & AndiMango - Welcome to the group! Your surgeries have been added to the main post.

    KnitNerd - There's a pinned thread at the top of the surgery board on what to bring with you and what to have at home (linked here) but I haven't perused it yet and I'm not sure if anyone has chimed in yet about what may be different in the era of COVID. Also, assuming from your username that you are a knitter - me too! :)

    AndiMango - Best of luck - we'll be thinking of you Thursday!

  • lillyishere
    lillyishere Member Posts: 773
    edited January 2021
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    Ladies, I stopped by to wish you all good luck and let you know that I had BMX 15 months ago. I have forgotten by now and so will you. I found recovery easier than what I was told.

  • KnitNerd
    KnitNerd Member Posts: 19
    edited January 2021
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    kimberly1981 -- Thanks for the link! That was really helpful. I think I probably just need to make sure I add masks and hand sani. Stupid cancer during a pandemic. And yes, I LOVE knitting! I keep trying to remind myself that surgery means I am on doctor's orders to sit on the couch for two weeks and knit. Trying to find some glass-half-full ways to spin this.

  • kimberly1981
    kimberly1981 Member Posts: 30
    edited January 2021
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    KnitNerd - I'm so jealous! I was one of the unlucky few who got the "nails falling off" side effect from my chemo and I will have loads of time off to be able to knit but can't physically do it! Are you on Ravelry?

  • NotAsCalmAsILook
    NotAsCalmAsILook Member Posts: 133
    edited January 2021
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    I’ve been lurking, but add me to the list. January 11th.